Best Practices and Other Questions


                                                          Best Practices & Other Questions

How can I avoid odor in my kitchen?
The kitchen container and the compostable BioBags have been specially designed to avoid odor.  Because the container is ventilated and the bags breathe, heat escapes and moisture evaporates. This lets food scraps dry out, which slows the rotting process and avoids odor. For meat and fish scraps, it is best practice to wrap in newspaper or paper bags before placing in your kitchen container to prevent odors. Remember no liquids and no grease. Drain excess liquids from food and squeeze out your tea bag. These practices will help reduce moisture. Place bags of food scraps in green curbside bin 2-3 times per week, when it’s full, or if you will be gone for a few days. 

How can I prevent odor with the green curbside bin?
Store the bin outside. Make sure the bin is locked after placing bags of food scraps inside. If possible store in a shady and well- ventilated area.  Place the bin out at the curb for weekly pickup, even if it isn’t full. 

Will the curbside compost program attract rodents?
Just like when food scraps were in your trash, it is important to follow best practices to keep discarded material clean and neat. This means: Empty your kitchen container into your green curbside bin regularly. Ensure that the lock on the green curbside bin is shut securely after placing bags of food scraps inside. Never place loose food scraps in your green curbside bin, or on the ground. Set out the green curbside bin at the curb for weekly pickup, even if it is not full. View 10 tips on rodent control by clicking here and to view garden rodent control tips, please click here.

Is curbside compost pickup better than putting food scraps down a garbage disposal?
In Cambridge, residents may put small amounts of food scraps into sink disposers that grind up material into tiny particles. Please run the garbage disposal along with a moderate flow of cold water. The waste is transported in the City’s sewer system to the Deer Island Treatment Facility and turned into a fertilizer, good for lawns and gardens. Curbside compost pickup is an alternative way to compost food scraps, and more comprehensive. It offers an opportunity to also keep soiled paper and fibrous food scraps that cannot go in a sink disposer, such as corn husks, celery, artichokes, bones, and fruit pits. Never pour grease or oil down the drain. Pour into a can or jar with a lid, store until full and then place in the trash. Fats, oils, and grease cause sewer blockages leading to spills and overflows harmful to public health.

Why is meat, seafood and dairy accepted for curbside compost pickup and not in backyard composting?
These materials can tend to cause odors and can attract rodents and other pests. Also, backyard compost bins do not get to high temperatures needed to compost meat, seafood and dairy. At large composting facilities, temperatures reach between 140-160 degrees.


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